Celebrating success with the GDAS Peer Academy

16th February 2023

I was honoured on Monday to be invited to a graduation ceremony for those who have completed the Gwent Drug and Alcohol Service’s (GDAS) Peer Academy scheme.

The Peer Academy provides training and support for people with living and lived experience of substance use. It aims to build skills and confidence and enable them to volunteer in a wide range of roles within the drug and alcohol sector, helping those who have had similar experiences.

Since 2014 my office has invested more than £800,000 annually into GDAS, which is a consortium of Kaleidoscope, Barod and G4S. The service provides advice and targeted support to drug and alcohol users, their families, and professionals who may deal with people presenting with drug and alcohol problems. It is an excellent example of services working together in partnership to tackle substance use which can affect people from all walks of life.

It was a privilege to celebrate the hard work and determinism of those completing their course with the Peer Academy and I wish them all the best for the future.